Chicago principal suspended over goose-stepping student

Anti-Semitic incidents surged nearly 60% in 2017
Posted at 1:29 PM, Nov 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-06 13:29:16-05

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago high school principal has been suspended after a student in a German military uniform goose-stepped during a Halloween costume event.

Joseph Powers told staff at Jones College Prep that the student was dressed as a Cold War-era East German soldier. But he said the boy also may have told others that "it was from the 1940s," the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

"Let me say clearly and plainly that what occurred caused harm to many of our students and staff who recognized this as an act of antisemitism," Powers said in a subsequent email to parents Thursday.

"Let me also say clearly and plainly that intolerance, bigotry, and bias-based behaviors have no place in our school," he said.

Chicago schools chief executive Pedro Martinez suspended Powers while the matter is investigated.

"It is completely inconsistent with our values as a school district, and it comes at a time when hateful speech and hateful attacks are on the rise, especially against Jewish Americans," Martinez said.

The student was booed when he goose-stepped, according to video.

"They should have set him aside and had a conversation with him about why it was inappropriate," student Yamali Rodas said.